Profile of the Day: Haakon VII of Norway

Posted August 3, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Haakon VII of Norway

Haakon VII of Norway

Do you have a connection to Norwegian royalty? On this day in 1872, Haakon VII of Norway was born. Regarded as one of the greatest Norwegians of the 20th century, Haakon VII is one of the few monarchs in history to have been elected to the throne.

The Norwegian king was born Christian Frederick Carl Georg Valdemar Axel on August 3, 1872 in Denmark at Charlottenlund Palace near Copenhagen. Before becoming the King of Norway, he was known as Prince Carl of Denmark. He married Maud of Wales, who was the youngest daughter of Edward VII.

After the union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved in 1905, Norway finally gained true independence. The Norwegian government asked the Prince of Denmark to be king, but he insisted that he would only accept the crown if the people of Norway expressed their will for a monarchy through a referendum. After the people voted largely in favor of establishing a monarchy, the Norwegian parliament elected Prince Carl as King of Norway by an overwhelming majority. As king, he chose to use the name “Haakon,” a traditional name used by Norwegian kings.

During World War II, Haakon VII played a pivotal role in uniting the Norwegian people in their resistance to the invasion of German forces and 5-year occupation. The Germans had demanded the government to step down and the King to appoint Vidkun Quisling, a Nazi sympathizer, as prime minister. The King refused to comply with their demands and said he would rather abdicate than appoint Quisling as prime minster. Throughout the war, the King continued to lead the government in exile and coordinated Norwegian war efforts from his base in London. Haakon became a symbol of the Norwegian resistance and is remembered for his leadership and efforts to preserve Norwegian unity throughout the war.

Haakon VII died on September 21, 1957 at the age of 85. He reigned for nearly 52 years.

How are you related to Haakon VII? Explore the family tree of the Norwegian royal family and share your connection!
 

View Haakon VII’s Geni Profile

 


Image: National Library of Norway, Flickr

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Social Media Coordinator at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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